In Morocco, it is not uncommon for family members from multiple generations to live together in one house. Many mothers stay home and do not work. Much of this depends on the arrangements between the parents, and it is very acceptable for mothers to work, as well. In most of the cases, the father makes final decisions in the Moroccan family, but it is all based on consultation with the mother. In Morocco, girls help their mothers with the daily household chores. Boys are also asked to clean their rooms. Meals in Morocco are often eaten communally. In Morocco, members of the family are entitled to have their own time and privacy. In their free time, family members can practice their individual activities but must respect family rules, like curfews.
Teen Life: If a Moroccan child owns something, it is generally his or her own, and not understood to be the shared property of siblings. This includes clothing. When siblings want to borrow something from each other, it is generally understood that they must ask first. In Morocco, teenagers cannot work or have part-time jobs. Teenagers receive their allowances from their parents and spending is monitored by parents. Moroccan teenagers are expected to show respect to their parents with formality. However, informality is very common between siblings.
Responsibilities: In Morocco, the responsibility of cooking falls primarily to the mother, and sometimes to the teenage daughter, but very rarely to boys.
Parental Involvement: In Morocco, parents monitor internet use and how much time their children spend online, as well as what students search for when they go online. Internet usage is seen as a privilege.
Not all Moroccan parents are in direct contact with their children’s schools. However, many parents do monitor the performance of their children at school very closely. Moroccan teenagers are dependent on their parents in almost every aspect of their lives.
Pets: Most Moroccan families do not have pets. Some families may have cats and few might have dogs. It is uncommon for pets to be allowed inside the home in Morocco.
Classes: In Morocco, students are evaluated on in-class exams, regional exams, and exams at the national level. Attendance and homework are also a big portion of student evaluations and final grades. In some high schools, students remain in one classroom while teachers rotate, while in others, students take classes in different classrooms. Almost all of the Moroccan high schools are co-ed. Boys and girls are not separated in the classroom.
In Morocco, students do not get to choose classes they want. However, students are able to choose the track they would like to study (i.e. sciences, economics, or humanities), which must be approved by the school administration. Once students are on a particular track, there is a list of classes that they must take. Students again are unable to choose these courses but all students study the same subjects with peers enrolled in the same track.
School Relationships: In most cases, the relationship between Moroccan students and their teachers is very formal. Students call their teachers by their last names and use formal titles like Mr. or Mrs.
Extracurricular Activities: Most, if not all of Moroccan high schools, do not offer extracurricular activities. In general, very few extracurricular activities are offered by the schools. Students must belong to private sports clubs or other clubs to participate in activities. Because Moroccan high schools do not have extracurricular activities, very few parents are involved in their children’s activities.
School Rules and Attire: Fighting and other behavioral issues lead to warnings, probations, and sometimes dismissal from the school. Some schools require students to have some type of uniform, but this is not the case for all schools in Morocco.
Returning from Exchange: When they return home, Moroccan YES students are often more accustomed to the American school system of education and find it very difficult to readjust to the Moroccan school system. Students will often repeat a year after their exchange.
Mixed Gender Socializing: It is acceptable for Moroccan teens to have friends of the opposite sex and to socialize with them individually.
Friendships: Moroccan teenagers sometimes socialize in groups, and sometimes one-on-one. Both ways are considered appropriate, and the choice is left up to the individual. In Morocco, teenagers make their friends through school, neighbors, and extended family members. It is uncommon for Moroccan teenagers to share money with each other.
Communication Styles: Moroccan teenagers tend to be indirect when communicating with their elders. The use of body language and other forms of communication are more common. Communicating negative emotions directly to an elder is uncommon, but students may communicate negative feelings to siblings.
Eye Contact: Eye contact is important in Morocco and depends on the gender of the person being addressed.
Religion: Teenagers are required to attend religious events and participate in all activities. Ramadan is a good opportunity to exchange visits with family members.
Holidays: Among celebrated holidays in Morocco are New Year, Muharram (Islamic New Year), Independence Manifesto Day, Mawlid an-Nabi, Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan, Green March, Moroccan Independence Day, and Eid al-Adha. Moroccans usually have a day off for both national and religious holidays. For religious holidays, Moroccans exchange visits between families and friends. It is also common to go to mosque for the Eid prayers.
When students are in the US, the most important religious celebration that they will miss is Eid al-Adha. During this holiday, Muslims in Morocco sacrifice a sheep which honors Abaraham who was going to sacrifice his son.
Guest Culture: Hospitality is one of the main values in Moroccan culture, and guests are treated very well. People will often offer guests food or drink, but it is not considered rude for a guest to politely decline. Americans will often take this response at face-value, and might not offer more than once or twice.
Lunch and Diets: Food portions are not very large in Morocco. Moroccans typically eat from the same dish. On Morocco, people may also eat leftovers, especially for dinner which is still considered to be a much smaller meal compared to lunch. Students are mostly accustomed to hot lunches but understand that cold lunches are popular in the U.S.
Most Moroccans will shower once per day. It is generally thought to be unclean in Morocco to wear the same clothes two days in a row or to wear the same clothes twice without washing them. Moroccan teenagers are expected to keep their bathrooms clean and dry after using them-towels are hung up and hygiene products are put away. In Morocco, each member of the family has his/her own towel, and sometimes has more than one. Teenagers change into house clothes when they return from school.